UK government sells down wind vehicle stake

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, a cornerstone investor in Greencoat UK Wind at its 2013 IPO, owned a 10.8% stake in the company.

The UK government has divested its entire holding in Greencoat UK Wind (Greencoat), a London-listed fund that invests in domestic wind farms.

The £50 million (€67 million; $77 million) stake, representing 10.8 percent of Greencoat’s issue share capital, was sold at a price of 103.5p per share, at the lower end of the 103-105p range announced yesterday.

The shares fell 2.1 percent following the announcement of the placing, and the current price of 104p compares with a peak of 112.5p in December.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills was a cornerstone investor at the IPO of Greencoat in March 2013, through which the company raised £260 million. It has not participated in subsequent capital raises, however, and was not expected to be a long-term shareholder in the fund.

The news follows a busy second year for Greencoat, which currently manages a portfolio with an aggregate net installed capacity of 271.5 megawatts.

Last October, the company beat its £100 million target by raising £125 million to pay down an acquisition facility. That came after deals that saw it acquire two assets for £96 million in June and four more for £90.6 million in August.

Greencoat is part of the handful of renewables yieldcos – publicly traded companies that own a portfolio of projects and distribute cash flows produced to shareholders – that have launched in the UK over recent years. Its net asset value stood at 105.5p as at 31 December 2014 and its shares pay a yield of 5.9 percent.